General’s Son Latest Ruling-Party Scion Made Provincial Governor

5 min read
Provincial governors and their CPP relatives.
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The son of U.S.-blacklisted general Kun Kim has been promoted to Preah Vihear governor — at least the ninth child or in-law of ruling party leaders currently serving as provincial governor across the country.

Kim Rithy, Kim’s son, was appointed governor after five months as the Interior Ministry’s deputy director of administration, according to a decree signed by the king on Tuesday. Previously, he was deputy governor in Kandal since 2014.

At least eight others are in a similar position to Rithy:

  • Kampot governor Mao Thonin, nephew-in-law of Prime Minister Hun Sen.
  • Kep governor Som Piseth, son of lawmaker Som Chen.
  • Koh Kong governor Mithona Phouthorng, daughter of ex-governor Yuth Phouthorng and granddaughter of late CPP permanent committee member Say Phouthorng.
  • Mondulkiri governor Thong Savun, son of late Defense Minister and Senator Bou Thang.
  • Oddar Meanchey governor Pen Kosal, son-in-law of National Assembly president Heng Samrin.
  • Prey Veng governor Chea Somethy, son of late CPP president Chea Sim.
  • Siem Reap governor Tea Seiha, son of Defense Minister Tea Banh.
  • Tbong Khmum governor Cheam Chansophorn, son of lawmaker Cheam Yeab.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said preparing the next generation was one the party’s duties.

“Every party has the role to build up the younger line, the next generation, to be its successors, so the CPP building up its youth and promoting its youth to take on key roles is a normal thing,” Eysan said.

He added that it was not a requirement to be a relative of a party leader to become governor.

“For their children, they must have enough qualifications to be promoted,” Eysan said. “The CPP has not taken random people to be promoted. They all have been educated in foreign countries with higher education, certifications and high morality and clear positions.”

Many learned patriotism from their parents and gained qualifications from abroad, he said, adding that the younger generation of the party was fulfilling needed and specialized roles.

“All the youth are like one body: Each acts as the heart, lung, liver or gallstone … or like a car, one as the tire, wheel or other part. They each have their roles.”

Rithy, the new Preah Vihear governor, had long learned from joining the party’s provincial working group, Eysan added.

“So the promotion in Preah Vihear is nothing wrong. It is suitable for him and he will manage the situation in the Preah Vihear.”

Preah Vihear governor Kim Rithy and general Kun Kim, son and father. (Kim Rithy’s Facebook, archive photo)
Kampot governor Mao Thonin and Hun Chanthy, the daughter of Hun Sen’s youngest sister Hun Bunthoeun. (Kampot provincial administration Facebook page)
Kep governor Som Piseth and lawmaker Som Chen, son and father. (Som Piseth’s Facebook page)
Koh Kong governor Mithona Phouthorng, ex-Koh Kong governor Yuth Phouthorng and late CPP permanent committee member Say Phouthorng — daughter, father and grandfather. (Mithona Phouthorng’s Facebook page, CPP)
Mondulkiri governor Thong Savun and late Defense Minister and Senator Bou Thang, son and father. (Mondulkiri administration Facebook page, Foreign Affairs Ministry)
Heng Sam An, the daughter of National Assembly president Heng Samrin; and Oddar Meanchey governor Pen Kosal, wife and husband. (Oddar Meanchey administration Facebook)
Prey Veng governor Chea Somethy and late CPP president Chea Sim, son and father. (Chea Somethy’s Facebook page, Wikimedia Commons)
Siem Reap governor Tea Seiha and Defense Minister Tea Banh, son and father. (Facebook pages of Tea Seiha and Tea Banh)
Tbong Khmum governor Cheam Chansophorn and lawmaker Cheam Yeab, son and father. (Facebook pages of the Tbong Khmum administration and Cheam Yeab)

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